Sixteen and never-been-kissed Elle is unprepared for the fallout from her brief stint working in a kissing booth.
When Noah turns up as her first and only customer at the carnival booth, their kiss is more than either could have predicted. Unfortunately, as her best friend Lee’s older brother, Noah is off-limits. Elle’s resolve to honor this quickly crumbles when Noah confesses his feelings for her. Determined not to hurt her friendship with Lee, Elle demands that their romance stay a secret. Naturally, their clandestine activity is soon discovered, resulting in hurt feelings all around. Furthermore, jealous, narcissistic and with a tendency toward violence, Noah is far from the perfect boyfriend that Elle envisioned. Cardboard characters, a predictable plot and painful dialogue are only a few of the problems plaguing this too-familiar story. While Elle and Noah’s romance is sufficiently steamy, readers will grow tired of the couple’s incessant bickering. Elle’s girl-next-door persona is endearing, but her continuing naïveté about Noah’s true nature in the face of mounting evidence is implausible. The overlarge cast of secondary characters doing their best to populate a featureless setting is confusing. Initially presented on Wattpad and picked up with much hoopla by Random House, this unfortunate debut from a young author is in desperate need of a firmer editorial hand.
Lacking in everything but length. (Fiction. 14 & up)